Our president has gotten very wise!

Trump Administration Strips C.D.C. of Control of Coronavirus Data

Hospitals have been ordered to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all patient information to a central database in Washington, raising questions about transparency.

A scientist at Houston Methodist Hospital last month preparing patient samples to be tested for the coronavirus.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Sheryl Gay Stolberg

By Sheryl Gay Stolberg

Published July 14, 2020 - Updated Sept. 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public.

The new instructions were posted recently in a little-noticed document on the Department of Health and Human Services website. From now on, the department — not the C.D.C. — will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.

Officials say the change will streamline data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and remdesivir, the first drug shown to be effective against the virus. But the Health and Human Services database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decisions.

“Historically, C.D.C. has been the place where public health data has been sent, and this raises questions about not just access for researchers but access for reporters, access for the public to try to better understand what is happening with the outbreak," said Jen Kates, the director of global health and H.I.V. policy with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

“How will the data be protected?” she asked. “Will there be transparency, will there be access, and what is the role of the C.D.C. in understanding the data?”

News of the change came as a shock at the C.D.C., according to two officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Michael R. Caputo, a Health and Human Services spokesman, called the C.D.C.’s system inadequate and said the two systems would be linked. The C.D.C. would continue to make data public, he said.

“Today, the C.D.C. still has at least a week lag in reporting hospital data,” Mr. Caputo said. “America requires it in real time. The new, faster and complete data system is what our nation needs to defeat the coronavirus, and the C.D.C., an operating division of H.H.S., will certainly participate in this streamlined all-of-government response. They will simply no longer control it.”

But the instructions to hospitals in the department guidance are explicit and underscored: “As of July 15, 2020, hospitals should no longer report the Covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site,” the C.D.C.’s system for gathering data from more than 25,000 medical centers around the country.

Public health experts have long expressed concerns that the Trump administration is politicizing science and undermining its health experts, in particular the C.D.C.; four of the agency’s former directors, spanning both Republican and Democratic administrations, said as much in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The Washington Post. The data collection shift reinforced those fears.

“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under former President Barack Obama. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like C.D.C. to do its basic job.”

The shift grew out of a tense conference call several weeks ago between hospital executives and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator. After Dr. Birx said hospitals were not adequately reporting their data, she convened a working group of government and hospital officials who devised the new plan, according to Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief health care officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges, who participated in the group’s meetings.

While she said she understood Dr. Lurie’s concern, Dr. Orlowski said the administration had pledged in “a verbal discussion” to make the data public — or at least give hospitals access to it.

“We are comfortable with that as long as they continue to work with us, as long as they continue to make the information public, and as long as we’re able to continue to advise them and look at the data,” she said, calling the switch “a sincere effort to streamline and improve data collection.’’

Coronavirus Schools Briefing: It’s back to school — or is it?

The change exposes the vast gaps in the government’s ability to collect and manage health data — an antiquated system at best, experts say. The C.D.C. has been collecting coronavirus data through its National Healthcare Safety Network, which was expanded at the outset of the pandemic to track hospital capacity and patient information specific to Covid-19.

In its new guidance, Health and Human Services said that going forward, hospitals should report detailed information on a daily basis directly to the new centralized system, which is managed by TeleTracking, a health data firm with headquarters in Pittsburgh. However, if hospitals were already reporting such information to their states, they could continue to do so if they received a written release saying the state would handle reporting.

Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, has raised questions about the TeleTracking contract, calling it a “noncompetitive, multimillion-dollar contract” for a “duplicative health data system.”

Both the C.D.C. network and the TeleTracking system set up by Health and Human Services rely on so-called push data, meaning hospital employees must manually enter data, rather than the government tapping into an electronic system to obtain the information.

“The whole thing needs to be scrapped and started anew,” said Dr. Dan Hanfling, an expert in medical and disaster preparedness and a vice president at In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit strategic investment firm focused on national security. “It is laughable that this administration can’t find the wherewithal to bring 21st-century technologies in data management to the fight.”

Dr. Hanfling and others agree that information does need to be centralized, but they disagree on how that should happen. Dr. Hanfling called for a new “national data coordination center” that would be used for “forecasting, identifying, detecting, tracking and reporting on emerging diseases.”

Representative Donna E. Shalala of Florida, who served as health secretary under former President Bill Clinton, said the C.D.C. was the proper agency to gather health data. If there were flaws in the C.D.C.’s systems, she said, they should be fixed.

“Only the C.D.C. has the expertise to collect data,” Ms. Shalala said. “I think any move to take responsibility away from the people who have the expertise is politicizing.”

Hospitals say the previous reporting requirements were cumbersome, partly because they frequently changed.

“It has been an administrative hassle and confusing to constantly be shifting gears on reporting while hospitals are on the front lines during a pandemic,” Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Hospital Association, wrote in an email.

At Rush University Medical Center in Chicago as the pandemic raged, the hospital had four full-time employees reporting coronavirus data to four different agencies, said Dr. Bala N. Hota, the hospital’s chief analytics officer. Rush collected more than 100 different measures, some of which determined how much money it would receive under different federal programs.

But while Dr. Hota said he supported streamlining the process and the involvement of state and local agencies in reporting, he was also concerned that months into the pandemic, the United States still did not have an established system of collecting the kind of information it needed to seamlessly move patients from a full hospital to one with available beds.

“The C.D.C. is the right agency to be at the forefront of collecting the data,” Dr. Hota said.

The C.D.C. has been criticized for its data collection, however. In May, the agency acknowledged that in tracking the spread of the virus, it had been combining tests that detect active infection with those that detect recovery from Covid-19. That system muddied the picture of the pandemic but raised the percentage of Americans tested as President Trump was boasting about the number of tests the United States was conducting.

Similar complaints about coronavirus data have bubbled up around the country.

In Florida, a former data manager for the Health Department accused one of her superiors of directing her to “manipulate” data used in the state’s plan to lift stay-at-home orders this spring. Ms. Shalala said the mayor of Miami-Dade County “was so concerned about the state data that he has the hospitals reporting their data directly to him as well.”

And Arizona ended its partnership with a university modeling team whose projections showed a rising caseload, prompting pushback from Will Humble, the executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association and a former director of the state’s Health Services Department.

“Trust and accountability and transparency — all three go together,” Mr. Humble said. Of the federal government’s new system, he said: “They’d better keep it transparent, or else people are going to think that it was an ulterior motive.”

Reed Abelson contributed reporting from New York.


Covid-19 tests may be detecting traces of DEAD virus, giving ‘false positives’ and EXAGGERATING pandemic – research

5 Sep, 2020 13:03 / Updated 3 months ago
Covid-19 tests may be detecting traces of DEAD virus, giving ‘false positives’ and EXAGGERATING pandemic – research
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New research has discovered that coronavirus tests may be finding dead traces from weeks-old infections, resulting in false positives that inflate the scale of the pandemic.

The study was carried out by experts from the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine and the University of the West of England. It found there was a risk of “false positives” because of how Covid-19 testing is being conducted.

The scientists discovered that, despite people with Covid-19 being infectious for only around a week, one test used to detect the disease can still give a positive reading weeks after the patient has recovered.

The team examined 25 studies on the widely used polymerase chain reaction test, which is used to determine if someone has the virus in their system. The test takes a sample from a suspected Covid-19 case and uses a process that increases the amount of DNA, or genetic material, in the sample, to enable it to be examined.

The research found that the tests can amplify coronavirus genetic material that is not a viable virus and no longer capable of causing an infection.

Professor Carl Heneghan, one of the authors of the study, said there was a risk that a surge in testing across the UK was increasing the risk of this sample contamination occurring and it may explain why the number of Covid-19 cases is rising but the number of deaths is static.

“Evidence is mounting that a good proportion of ‘new’ mild cases and people re-testing positives after quarantine or discharge from hospital are not infectious, but are simply clearing harmless virus particles which their immune system has efficiently dealt with,” he wrote in The Spectator magazine.

Professor Heneghan said an “international effort” was required to avoid “the dangers of isolating non-infectious people or whole communities”.

Tucker Carlson: We were lied to about coronavirus and the mass lockdowns. 

Here's the proof
By Tucker Carlson | Fox News

Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner interviews President Trump in Dallas following roundtable discussion with religious leaders, law enforcement officials and small business owners.

Millions of Americans remain subjected to unprecedented restrictions on their personal lives, their daily lives, their family's lives.

The coronavirus lockdowns continue in many places. You may not know that because it gets no publicity, but it's true. And if you're living under it, you definitely know.

As a result of this, tens of millions of people are now unemployed. A huge number of them have no prospects of working again. Many thousands of small businesses are closed and will never reopen. More Americans have become dependent on drugs and alcohol, seeing their marriages dissolve, and become clinically depressed.

Some of them delayed their weddings. Others were banned by the government from burying their loved ones in funerals. Some Americans will die of cancer because they couldn't get cancer screenings, some unknown number have taken their own lives in despair. Others have flooded the streets to riot because bottled up rage and frustration take many forms.

The cost of shutting down the United States and denying our citizens desperately needed contact with one another is hard to calculate. But the cost has been staggering.

The people responsible for doing all of this,say they have no regrets about it. We faced a global calamity, they say. COVID-19 was the worst pandemic since the Spanish flu. That flu killed 50 million people.

We had no choice. We did the right thing. That's what they're telling us. Is it true?

The answer to that question matters, not just because the truth always matters, but because the credibility of our leaders is at stake here. This is the biggest decision they have made in our lifetimes. They were able to make it. They rule because we let them. Their power comes from us.

As a matter of public health, we can say conclusively the lockdowns were not necessary.

So the question, now and always is, are they worthy of that power? That's not a conversation they want to have. And right now, they don't have to have that conversation because all of us are distracted and mesmerized by the woke revolution underway outside.

They just created a separate country in Seattle. Huh? We'll bring you the latest on that. But we do think it's worth four minutes taking a pause to assess whether or not they were in fact lying to us about the coronavirus and our response to it.

And the short answer is this: Yes, they were definitely lying.

As a matter of public health, we can say conclusively the lockdowns were not necessary. In fact, we can prove that. And here's the most powerful evidence: States that never locked down at all -- states where people were allowed to live like Americans and not cower indoors alone -- in the end turned out no worse than states that had mandatory quarantines. The state you probably live in.

The states that locked down at first but were quick to reopen have not seen explosions of coronavirus cases. All of this is the opposite of what they said would happen with great confidence.

The media predicted mass death at places like Lake of the Ozarks and Ocean City, Md. -- places where the middle class dares to vacation. But those deaths never happened. In the end, the Wuhan coronavirus turned out to be a dangerous disease, but a manageable disease, like so many others. Far more dangerous were the lockdowns themselves.

For example, in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, panicked and incompetent governors forced nursing homes to accept infected coronavirus patients, and as a result, many thousands died, and they died needlessly.

This is all a remarkable story, but it's going almost entirely uncovered. The media would rather tell you why you need to hate your neighbor for the color of his skin. The media definitely don't want to revisit what they were saying just a few weeks ago, when they were acting as press agents for power-drunk Democratic politicians.

We were all played. Corrupt politicians scared us into giving up control over the most basic questions in our lives. At the same time, they gave more power to their obedient followers, like Antifa, while keeping the rest of us trapped at home and censored online.

Back then, news anchors were ordering you to stop asking questions and obey.

Chris Cuomo, CNN anchor: All right, so while most Americans are staying inside -- or should be, right, if they're not out protesting like fools -- they're not happy about being told to stay home. Staying home saves lives.

And the rest of us should be staying at home for our mothers and the people that we love, and to keep us farther apart, will ultimately bring us closer together in this cause.

Our collective conscientious actions -- staying home.

Oh, if you love your mother, you will do what I say. It turns out cable news anchors don't make very subtle propagandists.

And then Memorial Day arrived in May, and some states started to reopen. Millions of grateful Americans headed outdoors for the first time in months, and the media attacked them for doing that. They called them killers.

Swimming with your kids, they told us, was tantamount to mass murder.

Claire McCaskill, MSNBC political analyst: Frankly, a lot of the people in those crowds -- they thought they were, you know, standing up for what the president believes in and that is not to care about the public safety part of this.

Robyn Curnow, CNN host: Look at this. I mean, this is kind of crazy, considering we're in the middle of a global pandemic.

I mean, as one person quipped, you know, that's curving the curve. That's not flattening it.

Don Lemon, CNN anchor: Massive crowd of people crammed together, as if it were just an ordinary holiday weekend despite the risks of a virus that has killed more than 98,000 people.

Boy that montage was the opposite of a MENSA meeting. Has that much dumbness been captured on tape ever?

The last clip you saw was from May 25th. That was just over two weeks ago. "Ninety eight thousand people are dead. How dare you leave your house? You don't work in the media. You're not essential."

But it didn't take long for that message to change completely. In fact, it took precisely five days.

Here's the same brain dead news anchor you just saw less than a week later. He is no longer angry, you'll notice, about Americans going outside. As long as they are rioting and burning and not doing something sinful, like swimming with their children, he is delighted by it.

Lemon: And let's not forget, if anyone is judging this -- I'm not judging this, I'm just wondering what is going on. Because we were supposed to figure out this experiment a long time ago. Our country was started because -- this is how: the Boston Tea Party. Rioting.

So don't -- do not get it twisted and think that, oh, this is something that has never happened before. And then this is so terrible, and where are we in these savages and all of that. This is how this country was started.

Yes, don't judge. This is how this country was started -- by looting CVS and setting fire to Wendy's. Of course, you took American History. You knew that.

Andrew Cuomo's brother must have been in the same history class because he had the same reaction.

Chris Cuomo: America's major cities are filled with people demanding this country be more fair, more just.

And please, show me where it says that protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful. Because I can show you that outraged citizens are the ones who have made America what she is and led to any major milestones.

They are here to yell, criticize, blame, and shame.

Citizens have no duty to check their outrage.

Wow. So, one minute they were mass murderers for going outside. Now, they're Sam Adams. They're patriots. They're American heroes.

If all of this seems like a pretty abrupt pivot, fret not. Rioting is not a health risk as long as it helps the Democratic Party's prospects in the November election. Rioting will not spread the coronavirus.

Sounds implausible, but we can be certain of that, because last week, hundreds of self-described public health officials signed a letter saying so. They announced that the Black Lives Matter riots are a vital contribution to public health. In effect, they're an essential medical procedure.

But that doesn't mean you get to go outside. You don't. Thanks to coronavirus, you do not have the right to resume your life, and if you complain about that, it's "white nationalism." That was their professional conclusion.

Does a single American believe any of that? No, of course not. It is too stupid even for CNN to repeat, so they mostly ignored it. That's an ominous sign if you think about it. It means these people are done trying to convince you, even to fool you.

They're not making arguments, they're issuing decrees. They think they can. They no longer believe they need your consent to make big decisions to run the country. Once the authority stops trying to change your mind, even by deceit, it means they've decided to use force -- and they have.

During the lockdowns, people whose loved ones died were not allowed to have funerals for them. Think about that. It's hard to think of anything crueler, but it happened to a lot of people. They claimed it was necessary. It was not necessary. And we know that because now that a man has died whose death is politically useful to the Democratic Party, the authorities have given him three funerals and not a word about a health risk.

Or consider King County, Wash -- that's where Seattle is. Restaurants in King County are operating at just 25 percent capacity. That's the law now. Nonessential businesses are allowed just 15 percent capacity. The effect of that is economic disaster. Most small businesses run on very small margins. They can't survive for long, and in fact, many have failed.

What should they do? They should join Antifa, obviously, because in King County, Wash., Antifa can do whatever Antifa wants to do. They have taken over an entire six-block section of downtown Seattle, and that's fine with health authorities. There is no social distancing required. They're essential.

Are you getting the picture? Is it adding up to a message? Yes, the message is we were played. We were all played. Corrupt politicians scared us into giving up control over the most basic questions in our lives. At the same time, they gave more power to their obedient followers, like Antifa, while keeping the rest of us trapped at home and censored online.

In other words, they used a public health emergency to subvert democracy and install themselves as monarchs. How were they able to do this? The sad truth is, they did it because we let them do it. We believed them, therefore, we obeyed them.

If there's anything good to come out of this disaster, it's that none of us will ever make that mistake again.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on June 10, 2020.



A million people in England have coronavirus antibodies

4 Sep, 2020 14:43

People wearing face masks walk through Trafalgar Square in London, UK. © REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Health officials announced a positive development in the UK’s battle against Covid-19 on Friday, as new statistics revealed that almost three million people in England have developed coronavirus antibodies.

The fresh analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that, if everyone in the country was tested, around one in every 17 people in England would have antibodies for the virus that has claimed over 40,000 lives in the UK, according to official figures.

The latest household infection survey suggests that about 2.7 million people in England have developed some degree of immunity to Covid-19. This represents around 6 percent of the population. Also on Liverpool cop FIGHTS, pepper-sprays, & handcuffs maskless commuter with alleged ‘health condition,’ triggering online wrath

The data also found that an average of 2,000 people per day were estimated to be newly infected with Covid-19 between August 19 and 25 – the latest date for which there are figures. This is broadly in line with previous weeks’ stats.

The fresh ONS data comes just one day after a new study found that antibody testing may be underestimating the number of people previously infected by the virus. The research, published in the British Medical Journal, said that large-scale surveys may not capture all those who have developed an immune response to the disease.

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Ron Paul says Fauci needs to be removed: 'If not by Trump, then by the American people'

By Andrew J. Sciascia, The Western Journal
Published April 13, 2020 at 6:03pm

Former congressman and presidential GOP contender Ron Paul last week decried public trust in Dr. Anthony Fauci, suggesting the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director should be removed from the Trump administration's coronavirus task force.

Referring to Fauci as a "fraud," Paul said on his web show, the "Ron Paul Liberty Report," that Fauci was no different from other Washington experts and bureaucrats seeking to profit politically from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and should be fired by President Donald Trump immediately.

If the president failed to take action, the Texas Republican and libertarian suggested, the people would have to band together and defy Fauci's mandates instead. "Of course, a significant move would be to get rid of Fauci, who is giving us all this information," Paul, himself a physician and former Air Force flight surgeon, told his co-host Daniel McAdams.

"That's not likely to happen, but I think the type of firing that may be on your mind -- and that is, he should be fired. But if you don't do it in the literal sense, the people have to fire him." "They have to fire him by saying, 'He's a fraud! He doesn't give us any good information,'" Paul added.

Ron Paul✔@RonPaul
Fauci Should Be Fired

If Not By Trump, Then By The American People

Watch the whole show:

2:42 AM - Apr 10, 2020

Paul went on to suggest that Fauci's frequently overstated estimates and sensational rhetoric regarding governmental pandemic response measures, such as "social distancing," seemed to be informed primarily by "authoritarianism."

Amid a presumed peak of the outbreak in the United States, according to The Hill, Fauci admitted on Wednesday that initial estimates of 100,000 to 240,000 -- potentially even 1 million -- U.S. coronavirus deaths by August were likely wildly overblown, with researchers behind the nation's most popular statistical models beginning to greatly reduce their projections.

The University of Washington's widely cited IMHE model was just one example, seeing projected death totals fall by roughly 35 percent to 60,415 total deaths in the past week, National Review reported. Still, Fauci and other leading national experts have continued to advocate for extraordinary mitigation measures going forward, painting a dreary picture of American life for the next year or more.

According to KRON, Fauci told reporters Tuesday at a White House news briefing that a total return to normalcy "might not ever happen," though he hoped de facto house arrest for the majority of the American population would come to an end when a cure for COVID-19 or vaccine for the coronavirus was found.

"When we get back to normal, we will go back to the point where we can function as a society," Fauci said, responding to a question from ABC's Jonathan Karl, according to KRON. "But you’re absolutely right. If you want to get back to pre-coronavirus, that might not ever happen in the sense that the threat is there."

"I believe that with the therapies that will be coming online, and the fact that I feel confident that over a period of time we will get a good vaccine, that we will never have to get back to where we are right now," he added.

Some therapies that seem to be showing signs of success in small-scale trials worldwide -- things like chloroquine combined with azithromycin -- have failed to entirely win Fauci's support. (However, Fauci has said he himself would have no problem prescribing chloroquine for a patient suffering from COVIC-19 under the right circumstances.)

Meanwhile, Fauci has been emphatic about his support for social distancing with no defined end date, despite the evidence for such measures coming only from this wildly unscientific experiment we now find ourselves in.

He has also voiced tentative support for preventing a return to the workplace for those without a federally mandated certificate of immunity, and even suggested Tuesday that he does not believe we "should ever shake hands ever again." Dr. Anthony Fauci has contributed a great deal to his country. But he can no longer be one of the primary voices in this crisis, especially not after his assertion that the economic effects & devastation are merely inconvenient. @RepKenBuck

Dr. Fauci: "If you want to get to pre-coronavirus, that might not ever happen." He adds we will get back eventually to a "functioning" society without the severe social distancing we have right now. "They didn't save us from ourselves," Paul said. "And this plan to give [government] total control of everybody, the plan that they have, is when things are getting back to normal, yes, people can return to their work and do things and go to the golf course, if you get a stamp of approval.

"Your liberties are there if you get the proper stamp from the government and say, 'well, you're free of spreading any disease.' But as this one goes away, they'll come up with another one. It's an excuse to have total control over the people," he said. Paul, however, is not the first, and hopefully will not be the last, to point out the clear government overreach being carried out amid this emergency.

As Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona and Ken Buck of Colorado pointed out in a recent Washington Examiner opinion piece, public life as we know it has been put on indefinite hold, in part on Fauci's advice. Yet, the man has referred to the aforementioned policies and their impact on the American people as merely "inconvenient."

People are losing their jobs and the economy is in free-fall. Under threat of government action, many Americans were restricted from attending public church services on Easter Sunday, sparking court battles. Heck, a Colorado father was detained and handcuffed last week for playing ball with his 6-year-old daughter in an empty -- and open -- public park.

Anyone starting to think maybe we've gone a bit overboard? Of course, none of that is to say the coronavirus pandemic should not be taken seriously. It absolutely should. However, the government needs a better solution than unconstitutional restrictions of liberty until further notice. And if the "experts" cannot get on board with that, perhaps their jobs should be next on the chopping block. Only sounds fair considering their advice is putting American jobs in the same uncertain place.

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